HOMER® Energy and Sustainable Travel International Partner to Offer Hybrid Energy Solutions for Tourism

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HOMER Energy and Sustainable Travel International are collaborating to make cost-effective hybrid renewable energy solutions available to hotels, tour operators, attractions and destinations, bringing a combination of energy modeling software and expert consulting to the industry.

HOMER takes the guesswork out of designing hybrid power systems.

HOMER Energy has designated Sustainable Travel International (STI) as its exclusive partner in the marketing of HOMER software and services to the travel and tourism industry. As part of the arrangement, STI will offer HOMER software and services to its global network and membership at preferred rates. In return, HOMER Energy will partner with STI on renewable energy projects in destinations around the world.

Tourism destinations are ideal candidates for the HOMER Energy modeling software, which helps users plan power systems that combine renewable energy with storage or conventional backup. Some resorts operate off the grid while others use backup diesel engines to cope with power interruptions from an unstable grid. Larger facilities function as small communities or micro-grids with complex electricity requirements. Peter Lilienthal, founder of HOMER Energy, explains that “HOMER takes the guesswork out of designing hybrid power systems. It determines the optimal combination of power sources, calculating and comparing capital and operating costs and emissions over the entire life of the system.”

The HOMER software helps facility managers understand how to use variable resources such as solar photovoltaics and wind, other renewables, such as biomass or small hydro, as well as storage technologies such as batteries, and flywheels. Often, the best solution is a hybrid that may include diesel generators. The HOMER software shows how hybrid systems will reduce diesel run-times, their fuel and maintenance costs, extend their lifetimes, and contribute to a quieter environment.

The hospitality industry has a number of reasons for moving towards investments in renewable energy. First, tourist destinations often pay some of the highest electricity costs in the world and must keep a sharp eye on rising electricity costs. Second, tourists are increasingly evaluating the environmental impact of the hotels and resort destinations and making greener choices. Seventy-five percent of the respondents in a recent Conde Nast Traveler survey said they are influenced by a hotel's environmental policies when deciding where to stay.

“Becoming carbon neutral is a goal for many resort owners and an increasing number of destinations," explains Brian T. Mullis, CEO of STI. “The expertise and software HOMER Energy offer perfectly complements STI’s carbon planning and management services, which are designed to help hoteliers and destinations work toward becoming energy independent.” Sustainable Travel International helps its clients assess the local impacts of tourism and implement carbon offset solutions and other green policies.

Through their new agreement, HOMER Energy and Sustainable Travel International will assist travel professionals take full advantage of new opportunities to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions while increasing their profitability and enhancing long-term sustainability.

About HOMER Energy
HOMER Energy is a privately held company located in Boulder, Colorado. It supplies software and services to the rapidly growing international renewable distributed energy market, forecast to be $80 billion by 2014. In 2009, HOMER Energy received a license from NREL to be the exclusive commercialization agent enhancing, supporting, and distributing the HOMER software worldwide. HOMER has been downloaded by over 45,000 people in 193 countries worldwide and is used by systems integrators, equipment manufacturers, utilities, facilities managers, governments and non-profit organizations to design hybrid power systems. HOMER analyzes diverse distributed energy applications including grid-tied renewable and cogeneration systems, or situations where the grid is non-existent or insufficiently reliable - such as islands and remote communities. For more information about HOMER and to download the software, please visit http://www.homerenergy.com

About Sustainable Travel International
Sustainable Travel International (STI) is a globally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  The organization’s mission is to promote sustainable development through responsible travel by providing programs that help travelers, businesses and destinations protect the environment, preserve cultural heritage and contribute to economic development.  STI’s focus since 2002 has been to partner with like-minded organizations to affect as much positive change as possible with as few resources as possible,.It has a proven track record of creating scalable market-based solutions to achieve this goal.  For more information about STI, please visit http://www.sustainabletravelinternational.org.

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Peter Lilienthal

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